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Disabling Discipline: A Quantitative Analysis of Overdiscipling Students with Disabilities Open Access

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ABSTRACTDisabling Discipline: A Quantitative Analysis of Over-Disciplining Students with DisabilitiesThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) provide schools with clear guidelines on how to achieve an accommodating schooling experience for students with disabilities; however, students with disabilities are one of the largest demographics of students facing harsh disciplinary policies. The disproportionate application of harsh disciplinary policies drives students with disabilities out of the classroom, causing them to face longer suspension sentences, a transition to special education settings, and continued bouts of misbehaving. A common result of these harsh disciplinary policies is students with disabilities being funneled through the school to prison pipeline. Why are students with disabilities, specifically, disproportionately disciplined? Is there a category of disability disciplined more frequently than another? This paper seeks to quantitatively explore over-disciplining of students with disabilities, targeting the focus on the kinds of disabilities that correlate with these over-disciplinary practices. Using the concepts of Michel Foucault’s definitions of deviance and punishment, in addition to W.E.B Dubois’s theory of the veil, these theories seek to provide explanations for the over-disciplining of specific demographics of students with disabilities. Additionally, through Jane Addams’s theory of the neighborly relation, this paper also strives to provide implications for further research and suggested policies. To conduct the quantitative analysis, I will be using the fall 1994 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance Report dataset as my primary dataset. With this research, this essay aims to contribute to discovering the root causes of over-disciplining of students with disabilities and provide appropriate solutions based on these disabilities to mitigate the effects of this phenomenon.

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